, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 53-62,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 23 Jul 2010

Statistical analysis of kerf mark measurements in bone


Saw marks on bone have been routinely reported in dismemberment cases. When saw blade teeth contact bone and the bone is not completely sawed into two parts, bone fragments are removed forming a channel or kerf. Therefore, kerf width can approximate the thickness of the saw blade. The purpose of this study is to evaluate 100 saw kerf widths in bone produced by ten saw types to determine if a saw can be eliminated based on the kerf width. Five measurements were taken from each of the 100 saw kerfs to establish an average thickness for each kerf mark. Ten cuts were made on 10 sections of bovine bone, five with human-powered saws and five with mechanical-powered saws. The cuts were examined with a stereoscopic microscope utilizing digital camera measuring software. Two statistical cumulative logistic regression models were used to analyze the saw kerf data collected. In order to estimate the prediction error, repeated stratified cross-validation was applied in analyzing the kerf mark data. Based on the two statistical models used, 70–90% of the saws could be eliminated based on kerf width.